Edinburgh Women in Space 2021 conference talk: New frontiers in exoplanet science

I was invited to give a 10-minute PhD lightning talk at the Edinburgh Women in Space Conference from 26-28 March 2021. Here’s the talk, with a brief non-technical overview of recent exoplanet science and my research.

What’s the matter with British bread? Sustainability consulting for community benefit society Scotland the Bread

As the child of a German mother, I grew up with German food. Not pretzels and Currywurst–which is essentially street food–but liverwurst and salami, jam and Nutella and Pflaumenmuss (plum butter), cheeses, Bratkartoffel (fried potatoes), Milchreis (rice pudding), Hanuta, Milka, and Kinder eggs, and of course, lots of bread. Germans eat bread with toppings forContinue reading “What’s the matter with British bread? Sustainability consulting for community benefit society Scotland the Bread”

Earth the exoplanet

Compared to exoplanets, we know a lot about the Earth. It’s our home planet and the one that shapes our expectations when we study other worlds. Planetary science evolved out of Earth science. Exoplanet models started out as Earth climate models. Yet research on Earth throughout its history shows that the climate has been veryContinue reading “Earth the exoplanet”

Water cloud, acid cloud, iron cloud

A little while ago my kitchen sink had a serious clog. The emergency plumber worked on it for two hours. After failing to clear it with the manual plumbing snake and the much larger, electric plumbing snake, he finally tossed in the towel and poured a bottle of 80% sulphuric acid (chemical formula H2SO4) downContinue reading “Water cloud, acid cloud, iron cloud”

How the Heavens Moved in Ancient Babylon and Greece

I work with climate models in my research. That means I tell a computer to perform some calculations for me. The computer calculates a set of equations in physics that describe how the gas making up the atmosphere of a planet flows and the values of its physical properties, like pressure, density, and temperature, atContinue reading “How the Heavens Moved in Ancient Babylon and Greece”

How do we know what’s in an exoplanet’s atmosphere?

A planet’s atmosphere contains different chemical elements. The Earth’s atmosphere, for example, consists of about 78% nitrogen, 21% oxygen, 0.9% argon, and just 0.01% other gases like carbon dioxide, methane, and ozone. Earth’s atmosphere also contains varying amounts of water vapour in different regions and at different heights. That catch-all “other” category may be small,Continue reading “How do we know what’s in an exoplanet’s atmosphere?”

Planet Profile: Proxima Centauri b

The closest star to our Sun is called Proxima Centauri. It was discovered over 100 years ago by the Scottish astronomer Robert Innes and is estimated to be only 4.25 lightyears away. Getting a feel for the kinds of distances we’re talking about in astronomy is difficult, so let’s use a mental yardstick to help.Continue reading “Planet Profile: Proxima Centauri b”

Blog announcement: Change of focus

In September 2020, I started a PhD program in exoplanet science. I am studying possible climates of Earth-like planets in other solar systems. Although I’m still offering translation services, the focus of my website and blog will shift to science writing. I will be blogging about my research, but also about recent developments in exoplanetContinue reading “Blog announcement: Change of focus”

A perfect profession for life-long learners

Translation and learning go together like peanut butter and jelly. Every text we translate has a subject matter–often specialised, obscure, or technical. To translate a document accurately, we must not only know rare words, but also understand the subject matter. This is why regular continuing professional development (CPD) and, if possible, specialising in a particularContinue reading “A perfect profession for life-long learners”